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Posts for category: Pediatric Care

By Westfield Pediatrics, PA
November 30, 2016
Category: Pediatric Care
Tags: Bedwetting  

Bedwetting childBedwetting is a common childhood problem. Many children who master toilet training during the day, usually between the ages of two and four, continue to experience episodes of bedwetting through the night. In many cases, the nighttime bedwetting incidents will gradually decrease until they have completely ceased around the age of five or six.

So, when should parents worry about their child’s bedwetting behaviors? Most pediatricians agree that it’s quite normal for children to experience occasional “accidents” and that most children will outgrow it on their own.

When to Visit Your Pediatrician

Bedwetting is rarely a serious problem. In fact, wetting up to a year after the child has successfully been toilet trained is normal. Children gain bladder control at different ages, and while most kids quit wetting at night by the age of 6, others may take a little longer. In the majority of cases, wetting does not have a medical cause.

According to the AAP, you should contact your pediatrician if your child continues to have frequent “accidents” or if you notice any of the following signs:

  • Wet clothing and bed linens, even when the child uses the toilet frequently
  • Unusual straining during urination, a very small or narrow stream of urine, or dribbling after urination
  • Cloudy or pink urine
  • Abnormal redness or rash in the genital area
  • Trying to conceal wetting by hiding clothes or underwear
  • Daytime wetting in addition to nighttime accidents

Parents should remember to be sensitive to their child’s wetting behavior so not to cause additional embarrassment or discomfort. Never punish the child for bedwetting. Instead, show support and encouragement by reassuring the child that it is not his or her fault and that the problem will get better.

Remember, even though childhood wetting is frustrating, it is very normal. Talk to your pediatrician if you have concerns about your child’s bedwetting behaviors. 

By Westfield Pediatrics, PA
July 18, 2016
Category: Pediatric Care
Tags: Crib  

Buying a New CribA new baby needs a lot of things. From bottles and car seats to high chairs and baby monitors, an expectant parent has a lot of decisions and purchases to make before baby’s arrival. Considering your baby will spend a great deal of time here, a crib is one of the most important things a parent will buy.

Whether you’re shopping for a brand new crib or receiving a hand-me-down from a relative or friend, remember to evaluate your baby’s resting place carefully to ensure it meets all of the safety guidelines. You can visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website for information regarding all of these important safety standards.

There are many types of cribs available today, and parents will want to be educated about safety features and guidelines before choosing one for their baby. Here are a few helpful tips from the AAP:

  • Make sure the crib meets current safety standards before purchasing it. As of June 28, 2011, new federal safety standards prohibit the manufacture or sale of drop-side rail cribs. The standards also require stronger hardware and increased durability.  
  • If you have a crib that was manufactured before the new safety standards were enacted, contact the manufacturer to see if they offer hardware to keep the drop side from being raised or lowered. Consider buying a new crib that meets the stronger standards, if possible.
  • Read and follow the directions carefully for setting up, using and caring for the crib.
  • Regularly inspect your crib’s screws and hardware, and tighten them as necessary.
  • The mattress should fit snugly in the crib to prevent the baby from slipping between the mattress and the crib sides. As a general rule, no more than two of your fingers should fit between the mattress and the side of the crib.
  • Do not use the crib if there are any missing, damaged or broken parts, and never substitute original parts with pieces from a hardware store. Always contact the crib manufacturer for replacement materials.
  • Be sure to inspect every crib your child uses—from grandma’s house to the day care center—for safety.
  • Visit the US Consumer Product Safety Commission website to see if your crib has been recalled.
  • The slats of the crib should be no more than 2 3⁄8 inches apart, as widely spaced slats can trap the infant.
  • All surfaces of the crib should be covered with lead-free paint, and the wood should be smooth and free of splinters.

Remember, your baby will spend many hours in his or her crib. Take special care to ensure that your baby’s sleeping place offers very little opportunity for injuries and problems. You can learn more about crib safety standards, as well as safe bedding practices by visiting www.healthychildren.org and www.cpsc.gov, or by contacting your pediatrician for more information.

By Westfield Pediatrics, PA
March 31, 2016
Category: Pediatric Care
Tags: Teenage Acne  

Acne is by far the most common skin complaint among teenagers, affecting nearly all of those between the ages of 12 and 17 at least occasionally, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. In most cases, hormones released during puberty are responsible for the appearance of blemishes during the teen years. These hormones stimulate the skin’s sebaceous (oil) glands, producing oily skin that is more prone to breakouts. Because teens are extremely conscious of their image and appearance, an acne outbreak can be emotionally devastating. 

 

While hormonal changes during puberty cause many types of acne to be unavoidable, with a diligent skincare regimen, many teens can help control breakouts from becoming severe, minimize the appearance of blemishes and prevent scarring. The good news is that acne goes away almost completely for most people by the time they are out of their teens.

 

  • Keep skin clean. Teens produce more oil, so it’s important to wash the face every day with warm water and a mild cleanser to remove excess surface oils and dead skin cells. Always remove makeup before going to bed to avoid clogging pores.
  • Avoid over washing. Harsh scrubbing can lead to dry, irritated skin which can actually increase inflammation and trigger glands to produce more oil.
  • Don’t pick. Squeezing and picking at acne can make breakouts worse. Picking at blemishes can also lead to greater inflammation and infection, increasing the risk for scarring.
  • Keep hands off. Avoid touching the face throughout the day as the oils on hands can drive bacteria into the pores.
  • Use oil-free products. Avoid oil-based makeup. Instead look for products that are noncomedogenic or non-acnegenic. 
  • Shower after sports or physical activities. Sweat and oil can settle on the skin’s surface trapping dirt and bacteria in the pores.
  • Visit your pediatrician or dermatologist. Most cases of mild acne can be controlled and improved with a good skincare routine at home. If your skin problems persist, visit your pediatrician for professional treatment.

 

Being a teenager is tough enough without having to worry about breakouts. The good news is that effective treatments are available for acne — and the earlier treatment is started, the lower a teen’s risk of lasting physical and emotional damage. Take your teen to a dermatologist or pediatrician who can provide feedback on the cause, type and severity of acne. Your pediatrician can make recommendations for medications and regimens based on your teen's unique skin type.

By Westfield Pediatrics, PA
March 14, 2016
Category: Pediatric Care

Playground SafetyWhether it’s at the park, school or in your own backyard, kids of all ages enjoy climbing on the monkey bars, going down the slide and swinging.  Playgrounds are a great place for kids to exercise, take in fresh air and socialize with friends.   Unfortunately, it’s also a place many kids get injured every year as a result of faulty equipment and improper use.  In fact, each year more than 200,000 kids under the age of 15 are treated in hospital emergency rooms for playground-related injuries.

 

While there are some inevitable dangers, the good news is that many of these injuries can easily be prevented with proper supervision. Do you know what to look for to make sure your playground is safe?

 

Play it Safe: What to Look for at Your Playground

 

Risks linked with playground safety may not be as apparent as those associated with swimming or biking; you just have to know what to look for. You can make the playground safe and fun for your kids by checking equipment and surfacing for potential hazards and following some simple safety guidelines. These include:

 

  • Always supervise your child to ensure playground equipment is used properly.  
  • Regularly check playground equipment for loose, sharp or broken parts. 
  • Know which surfacing is most appropriate. Sand, wood chips and rubberized matting are the safest surfaces for playgrounds, while concrete or asphalt could lead to a serious injury if a child falls.
  • Make sure playground equipment is age and size appropriate for your child.
  • Minimize injuries by teaching your kids basic playground rules.
  • Play areas for younger children should be separated from those for older kids.
  • Don’t let children wear drawstrings, purses, necklaces or other items that could get caught on equipment.
  • Report dangerous playgrounds to responsible parties.
  • Ask your pediatrician about other tips for playground safety.

Don’t let careless behavior or a faulty apparatus ruin playground fun.  To minimize injuries, always be on the lookout for faulty equipment, improper surfaces, and careless behavior.  Play is an essential part of a child’s physical, social, intellectual, and emotional development. Following these playground safety tips will help your kids play as safely as possible.

By Westfield Pediatrics, PA
March 01, 2016
Category: Pediatric Care
Tags: Head Lice  

Head LiceTwo words parents dread hearing--head lice. Head lice are parasites that can be found on the heads of people, most common among preschool and elementary children. Each year millions of school-aged children in the U.S. get head lice. Though it may be a nuisance, the good news is that lice will not cause medical harm and in most cases can be effectively treated at home.

 

Lice are highly contagious and can spread quickly from person to person, especially in group settings, such as schools, sporting events and slumber parties. Head lice spread mainly by direct head-to-head contact with a person who already has head lice, but it can also be transferred indirectly when kids share combs, brushes, pillows or hats. Because children play closely together and often in large groups, all children can potentially be affected, and poor personal hygiene is not a significant risk factor for getting head lice. In other words, if your child is exposed to someone with head lice, they have a pretty good chance of bringing it home as well.

 

Does your child have lice?

The most obvious sign of head lice is an itchy scalp. If you notice your child scratching behind their ears or at the back of his neck, examine the child’s head for signs of lice. Lice are very small, but it is possible to detect them with the naked eye. Combing through the child’s hair with a fine-toothed comb can help reveal any eggs. If you are unsure, visit your pediatrician. An itchy scalp may also be caused by an allergy, eczema or dandruff.

 

Don’t Panic—Head Lice is Very Treatable

If your child has head lice, take action immediately once you’ve made the diagnosis as lice can spread easily from one person to another, putting other members of your household at risk. The most common treatment is an over-the-counter or prescription cream, lotion or shampoo. You apply it to the skin or scalp to kill the lice and eggs. In many cases, two treatments are necessary. If after two treatments you believe your child may still have head lice, contact your pediatrician. Your child’s doctor can recommend a different form of treatment.

 

You may be tempted to throw away bedding, clothing or other items in your household, but a simple wash will do the trick. Toss your child’s bed sheets, clothes, hats and other belongings in the washing machine in hot water, and dry on high heat to kill any remaining lice. Other members of your household should also be checked for lice.

 

To prevent kids from getting lice or becoming re-infested, tell kids not to share combs, brushes, hats or other personal items with anyone else. To prevent head lice, examine your child’s scalp regularly, especially during the school year, to detect lice early.

 

Remember, lice are very preventable and treatable. Be patient and follow the treatments and prevention tips as directed by your child’s pediatrician for keeping lice at bay and your household bug-free.